Final thoughts on 2014

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blogging

The chances of the Left winning the 2014 election was akin to taking on the National Party Death Star with a second hand X-Wing fighter we’d borrowed from Kim Dotcom.

We missed and the National Party Death Star blew up every planet.

The perverse counter intuitive that NZers would rally to the most corrupt Government in recent political history who has done more to entrench inequality and Child Poverty by borrowing billions for the richest amongst us while flogging off public assets to their wealthier voting base still leaves me breathless.

The PMs Office initiated and co-ordinated the falsification of SIS information to smear the Leader of the Opposition months before an election. As a National voter I had to holiday with recently told me, ‘No one cares about that stuff’, and that’s the horrific truth. Some suggest my description of voters as sleepy hobbits from muddle Nu Zilind is too harsh, I say bullshit. Those who voted for National need to own their vote and decision. This Government used State Spies to influence the 2011 election, that should terrify every citizen regardless of political leanings. Dirty Politics should have been shunned and punished, it shouldn’t have been electorally rewarded.

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National have been allowed to pass vast new mass surveillance powers under urgency that give the state far too much power. These amount to the largest erosion of civil liberties we’ve seen since the 1950s. How could that be justifiable?

We are a poorer nation for this election result.

I championed the Internet-MANA coalition because it was an audacious move. Those MANA represent never have their voices heard, Labour is weak on progressive social change post the repeal of section 59 because they are terrified of being seen as ‘politically correct’. Their commitment to the poorest is shallow at best. When Labour proclaim 100 000 houses with Kiwibuild, what they are really saying is 100 000 houses for the children of the middle classes. We need something far more radical than that if we are serious about inequality. 20 000 new state houses with free tertiary education and feeding the poorest kids at the poorest schools breakfast and lunch would do more to change the lot of those on the bottom than anything else done in the last 25 years.

Internet-MANA was a risk because those who get screwed and who are voiceless never get their interests served politically. It was a risk that was ripped to pieces by the mainstream media and those powers who have no intention of the poor gaining political representation.

I didn’t calculate Internet-MANA would also have to fight the Labour Party and NZ First as well as National, ACT and the Conservatives.

So where to from here? NZers respect confidence not intelligence. The issue isn’t about an argument, because the Right didn’t have a bloody argument. It’s about the values of those voting. Some vote Right because they are anti-women rights, anti-Maori rights, Anti-beneficiary rights and they don’t care Key used spies to stop the Left winning because they would green light anything to keep progressives out of power. When the country is as divided and as bitter towards each other as that, it requires something selfless to motivate.

Labour will push jobs and in an economic downturn, that may resonate, but I think it will need something more.

I think that motivation for a new debate could be youth. If Labour push and lobby hard to lower the voting age to 16 on the basis of countering our woeful participation rates at elections and to hear the concerns of the next generation, that could spark a debate that would be crucial to shift it from ‘how much will my capital gains tax free property portfolio make me’ to ‘what am I leaving behind for my children’.

The fears and hopes of 16 year olds and their concerns about the world they are inheriting could be the new front that could force a change of attitude.

16 year olds inherit a lifetime of student debt, while saving for their retirement in a user pays society that has priced them out of the property market in an environment rapidly deteriorating and a society weighed down and broken by poverty and inequality.

What Youth have to say about that inheritance could change the debate and force the self-interested to consider the bigger questions. If the Right will vote Key even though his office abused power at the highest levels to influence an election, then arguments won’t be enough to sway them.

Thinking about the unjust society their children will inherit may well.

2014 was a terrible, terrible year where the rich won and the poor were crucified. May 2015 be better because it sure as hell couldn’t get much worse.

60 COMMENTS

  1. Yep, your deluded Nat-voting contact was right! “No one cares about that stuff”.

    The point is that is that he/she is a Nat-voter. The prime directives for Nat-voters are to preserve their personal wealth, privilege, social status and income at all “costs”. Contrast this with the left – the THINKING voters with a social conscience. They are motivated by ideas, by notions of social justice and fairness. They are not hell-bent on maintaining the social and economic status quo (which is what the Key government is all about). Both the left, and for that matter the young, see the virtue in, and indeed the NECESSITY for radical change.

    You are absolutely right in your observations that in the long-term, the best hope for political change in NZ lies with the young. As you said, “It’s about the values of those voting.”

    The values of the next generation will be sharpened by persistently high unemployment (See Frank Macskasy’s very useful tally of NZ jobs lost in 2014 for example). Their values will be sharpened by a growing disillusionment with the Neo-Liberal agenda that the Key government so whole-heartedly subscribes to.

    The young will see the virtue in fighting against global domination of commerce by the multinationals and its end-product of destruction of the ecosystem of the planet. They will “opt” for a decent way of life for 99% of those inhabiting the planet rather than for just the top 1%.

    Quite likely, they will see that Western Democracy, which has been captured, raped and held to ransom by the Neo-liberal agenda, is NOT the way forward.

    Dem’s my guesses for 2015.

    Thank you Martyn for all your hard work in keeping the thinking, caring people of this country well-informed through “The Daily Blog”.

    Wishing you and all your readers and supporters a very happy new year.

    “Because we’re worth it”!

    • Which ‘young’?

      The little bubbles that were torching tents and tipping vehicles at Gisborne?

      The geriatric droopers wandering the streets, oblivious of hazards as they gaze adoringly at their cell phones? (They walk like they’re nearer 100 than 30.) The eager and earnest activists from either end of the spectrum full of fire, zeal, and Other People’s Ideas?

      If things are now so bad we have to recruit child soldiers…Especially ones who have little to no experience of ‘politics’ apart from school structures…

      It is time we went all out for serious parliamentary and governance makeover. The Westminster system was set up for the few to exclude the many and waft Good Things toward the ‘decent people’.

      That’s how it was structured. That’s what it delivers. Too well.

      If you want a different outcome then start thinking about the new systems and structures that are now needed. Don’t bother tinkering with a dud system.

      If you want kids involved – then review what they’re being taught and what they experience in schools. Insist that they, and all older people, honour their social obligations. (Which includes everyone in prison, too.) ‘My voice, my vote, my right – and my obligation.’

      • Have you kept up with statistics of young people in NZ or just throwing around the age old (and rather tired) idea that young people are just self obsessed, mindless problems upon society? They are drinking, smoking and using drugs much less than their previous counterparts – dare I say, your generation? They are more socially aware and open to diversity than ever before.
        The unfortunate statistics remain in self harm and depressive symptoms – much more indicative of the society they are being raised in – where wealth, ‘name’, and power matter more than hard work, persistence or virtue – and those are adult problems being inflicted on the young. Perhaps it is time we gave our young people the ability to make decisions regarding the country and societies they will inherit. They sure seem to have more sense than many adults.

        • I agree Hans, why should we expect young people to be the paragons of virtue when they look around and see how former generations have sold out and embraced the values of always having more of anything?. I am talking about the Baby Boomers generation and Generation X. They thought they wanted to change the world, and many of them probably did. But now they are the ones that are obsessed with the instant fix, instant gratification and material gain at all costs and they have totally forgotten about the other things of life. When we say “tsk tsk” and chide the younger generations for their selfishness we should remember that they learnt it all from us!

    • The number of people who vote for the same party each election are at the lowest numbers ever according to Mike Williams. I voted labour during the Clark years and Key the last two elections because in my view and obviously others they provided stability. They both also had and have outstanding Finance Ministers. Your rant about national voters values is ridiculous.

      • Bill English’s achievement thus far is a credit downgrade and 6 years of deficits and that’s with the fire sale of power companies and Air NZ thrown in. He can also boast record government and private debt and an economy that has seen next to no further diversification and you rate English as outstanding?? Outstanding as in he’s missing in action more likely!

        Milk powder prices have slumped as has the price of oil, all of which means less for the government in taxes and less revenue for NZ. And the Auckland property bubble is cause for concern.

        So unless National cook the books and going by the way government statistics are so misleading nowadays it’s a real possibility, the next 3 years will be the same or worse unless bulk state houses are flogged off to balance the books a little toward the positive and this has been flagged by English.

        • Bill English inherited an economy in deficit (for 2009), with a further decade of forecast deficits. He also inherited an economy heading for recession before the GFC impact hit the NZ economy.

          Credit where its’ due, Cullen ran a good economy until 2005 when he lost the plot and just about stuffed our economy. English has done a damn good job at righting the ship since.

          • All of which is arrant nonsense.

            Cullen posted nine consecutive surpluses – something which English has yet to do.

            If the Nats “inherited an economy in deficit (for 2009)” – that was a esult of the GFC – and the 2009 and 2010 tax cuts were highly irresponsible, creating even more government debt.

            As for your comment “a further decade of forecast deficits” – rubbish. Those were comments from National – not Treasury or the Reserve Bank. Gosman has made the same bullshit remark and when challenged upon it, he could not post any link to any Treasury or RBNZ report which made that claim.

            How on Earth you can suggest “Cullen ran a good economy until 2005 when he lost the plot and just about stuffed our economy” and then congratulate English for “a damn good job at righting the ship since” beggars belief. Only a simple-minded Nat/ACT supporter unwilling to face facts can utter such tripe.

            You can get away with that kind of garbage on “Kiwiblog” or “Whaleoil”, Nehemia – but you’ll be made to look a fool if you persist with that kind of deceptive, dishonest bullshit here.

      • You cannot be serious about Bill English being an outstanding Finance Minister.
        This guy is way, way out of his depth and as his appalling decisions come home to roost over the next few years, New Zealand will suffer terribly.
        From the get go he’s made a hash of it.
        His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw the size of the surplus that he had inherited from Labour, but under Bill’s stewardship that was to be short lived.
        It was game over from the start for bumbling Bill when he foolishly raised GST and then dropped the top tax rate .
        Immediately snookering himself behind the 8 ball he triggered a plummeting tax take and has been playing ‘catch up’ ever since.
        Despite record immigration and record dairy prices and a 40 billion dollar insurance injection due to the Ch.Ch earthquakes and the treasonous selling off of our prized high dividend yielding assets he still can’t manage a surplus!
        Unfortunately Bill is a klutz and it is classic example of why someone who has been the beneficiary of inherited wealth should never be given a position such as Minister of Finance. He has absolutely no street smarts and his supercilious smirk, when all the indicators show that things are going ‘pear shaped’, says it all.
        He still doesn’t get it !!!

        • Grant that’s simply not how the international community view things, or for that matter most NZ’ers.

          • The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and at the moment it’s not looking very tasty.
            National is the one who has made a big deal about The Surplus being the end all and be all of the success of a country, and because of their regressive , Dinosaur like thinking, they have failed to deliver on their own misguided standards.
            The International Community, as you call them ,is an interesting description of the wide boys, (probably The Banks i am imagining) who have benefited hugely at the expense of the rest.
            You can kid yourself all you like about English , but the facts show he’s been an abject failure !!!

    • Democracy has not been captured. It’s just not what you thought it was.

      Most people have long laboured under the delusion that the voting public would hold accountable politicians who violated democratic norms. We now know that is false. The right discovered in the last 20 years that you can do all sorts of outrageous things, and there will be little or no consequence. Democratic societies turned out to be hollowed out and rotten. Popular authoritarianism is on the march.

      New Zealand’s experience with this has been fairly mild. Australia, Canada, the UK and the US have it much worse. For all his faults, Key isn’t an open bigot like Harper or Abbott, and he’s not gutting the welfare state in the way that Cameron is, or engaged in outright lunacy like the Republicans. And even they are nowhere near as bad as what is happening in places like Israel or Turkey. The Israeli government is now openly fascist in many respects. All these politicians are quite popular, and most of them will likely be re-elected.

      Perhaps it’s time to grow up and start looking beyond democracy, or at least the kind of democracy we have. For example, any environmentalist who believes in the efficacy of democracy is clearly an idiot. Otherwise, you can just accept that people vote for this shit and move on.

    • A tally of jobs lost in 2014 is next to useless without a similar tally of jobs created. Employment is a fluid beast now, and most likely always will be, but one thing is sure. Unemployment is dropping, and is close to a point where the only unemployed will be the unemployable.

      • Unemployment is dropping?

        Under-employment is rising as well. According to Stats NZ, anyone working one hour a week (unpaid or paid) is officially considered “employed”. So I’d be wary of those stats if I were you. The 2013 Census proved that the HLFS stats are over-inflated by at least one percentage point.

  2. Thank you Martyn Bradbury, the voice of reason and hope for the future. I’m so sad that you got it right when you wrote about the divide and bitterness we now feel towards each other. I am already terrified of what 2017 will bring as FJK has a stranglehold on this country. It is only going to get tighter. The natz are bullying and blackmailing and bribing every govt dept, every public servant to do things their way. I never thought this could happen here. The cult of FJK has murdered our country.

  3. My partner was at a bbq yesterday where she met a man who praised John Key’s leadership qualities. Offended and somewhat taken aback she asked ‘what leadership qualities?’
    Well, he played golf with President Obama he replied…
    A sad insight into the mind of a National party voter, no wonder it seems so hopeless at times…
    happy new year Bomber

    • Yep, and the PM (or president or whatever) of Indonesia got to play the round of golf with Obama in Hawaii this year.

      Guess who will be joining the “Five-eyes” spy network next . . . .

  4. Kia ora Martyn.

    Before the election you seemed confident the government would be changed. And you may in fact have been correct. Perhaps the votes all came in and got counted, there were party vote totals and the ‘wrong’ parties got the most. So some fake party votes got added to give the ‘right’ result.

    In court, what does the judge look for? Motivation, capability, opportunity.

    Motivation to rig the election? Beyond reasonable doubt – that much is clear from Dirty Politics. So many lies – why not lie about that as well? Interfere with the SIS – why not ElectionsNZ?

    Opportunity? Absolutely – the pure fact that the ballot is secret, it has to be and is accepted as such.

    Capability? The use of vote-flipping self-destroying software is attested to in the USA – could it be used in our system?

    Several commenters have noted the strangeness of the result.

    Is there a prima facie case for this result having been the National Party’s biggest and most strategic lie so far? I think so.

    Do you know someone, both well placed to investigate this and also with buckets of courage?

    I might be wrong, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t vote.

    But as things are, we don’t know if they did, but I think we do know they would if they thought they could.

  5. Just my opinion! But the young are brainwashed to neoliberalism and political apathy and individualism. They are National’s 5th column making up the majority who didn’t and couldn’t be bothered to vote last election which got National another term.The take over of NZ by greed and self interest is now a done deal which was enabled by Labour as well who continued the done deal by eliminating MANA in the last election.

    • Jay, I disagree! The young are not brainwashed to Neoliberalism – at least not the thinking young and the well-educated young. (And there are quite a lot of them out there).

      They are disillusioned by the fact that the alternatives to neo-liberalism are not well-enough articlulated and promoted by the two or three “mainstream parties” to capture their interest and hence their vote – and so thats why they don’t currently bother to turn up to vote. (Internet-Mana, clearly also failed to capture their interest and therefore thir votes for whatever reasons).

      (Just a guess on my part, but I still have some faith in the future of humankind, and for that matter, in the young.)

      • I think the young -like everybody else – is surrounded by neoliberal properganda through the media and thus general society. The only way to hear an alternative voice is to make an effort and go looking for it. There is a group of young who are going out and looking for an alternative voice but for everyone who was born before 1984 they have always lived under neoliberalism. They have never experienced anything different.

  6. Michael Roberts Marxist blogger predicts ongoing Long Depression for 2015.

    “The global economy remains in a crawl and will do so in 2015 for one good reason: the failure of business investment to leap forward. Goldman Sachs reckoned this time last year that there would be a global investment boom in 2014. That has proved to be a mirage in Europe, Japan, the UK and in the major so-called emerging economies of China, India, Brazil and Russia, where investment growth has slowed markedly or collapsed, as in the case of Russia (see my post, http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/oil-the-rouble-and-the-spectre-of-deflation/). The emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China collectively known as the BRICs — will likely grow in 2015 at their slowest pace in six years, according to Oxford Economics. Only the US has shown some pick-up in investment.

    As I said last year, the reason that business investment has not boomed is that in most economies average profitability remains below levels before the Great Recession and below levels reached in the late 1990s. Most economies are still experiencing the downwave in the profitability cycle, as explained above. Coupled with the downwave in the Kondratiev cycle, that is why the global capitalist economy is in what I call a Long Depression, with some years to run.”

    http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/predictions-for-2015/

    • Many commentators are predicting dire economic outcomes for 2015/2016. These years when the S*&%t hits the fan.

    • GOSMAN

      Where is the evidence that they are not? (and don’t bother citing the lack of voter turn-out by the young as “evidence”. Its not).

  7. Some suggest my description of voters as sleepy hobbits from muddle Nu Zilind is too harsh, I say bullshit.

    ..totally agree with your description.

    Bring political education into our schools …on the whole, kiwi’s are far too ignorant on this front….embarrassingly so, especially compared to other countries.

    Here’s to 2015 for what it is worth.

    • JD :
      Absolutely agree with “Bring political education into our schools.”

      But don’t expect it from the Nats, ‘cos that might reduce their election percentages in the “swings and arrows of outrages fortune” next time around.

      • Sorry – typo – That should read “swings and arrows of OUTRAGEOUS fortune. (To misquote Shakespeare).

        – M

    • Spot on there JD, re bringing political education into our schools.

      Civics in general should be taught as part of the compulsory curriculum, incorporating politics, as well as teaching young Kiwis the importance of civic responsibility.

      Might go some way towards a fairer, more balanced future.

  8. Murray said it all Martyn,
    We are very fortunate to have you as our social consciousness trumpet, as very few Journalists even care to mention the widening divide between rich & poor now days.

    Your forecast is pretty correct as you said;

    “May 2015 be better because it sure as hell couldn’t get much worse.”

    We see the corporates lobbying this Government endlessly, so we agree the young who are worst to cop the future hardship of this rape & pillage Government that are aggressively stripping out the last vestiges of public ownership of assets paid for by past generations as a cushion against future hardship which this evil lot have now dismantled..

    As a 70 yr. old, I feel hopelessness for the future until this evil Government is swept from this country in shame and punishment for all their sins against the people of the state.

    In history this Government will be recorded as the most aggressive anti citizenry carpetbagger corruption lot, of all the previous Governments, and even worse than the dark years of Rogernomics.

    Have a restful peaceful new years my friend, we will see you next year.

  9. I must be getting old and cynical. I agree with all of your remarks on the problems confronting the left, but I have no faith in the young being the solution. At the last election the Left invested a lot of time and effort into winning the youth vote: it failed miserably. In the polling booths closest to the University of Otago at the last election, the National vote increased. If that this the attitude of the 18 year olds, why should the 16 year olds be better?

    • Dennis:

      Thats because the left at the last election weren’t offering anything much more that a different approach to neoliberalism. The young were smart enough to see just that, and were turned off by it. And stayed away.

  10. Yes- ‘generation squeeze’ is getting good traction in Canada on the shitty deal we are giving the next generation. Worth checking out.

  11. This election has profoundly changed my perspective on New Zealand and New Zealanders much like the protagonist in 1950s film Invasion of the Body Snatchers who discovers all his neighbours have been replaced by Alien lookalikes
    I feel a deep sense of disassociation with my fellow New Zealanders.

    • Esoteric Pineapples I couldn’t agree more.
      The blind faith that people have in this most incompetent of Governments beggars belief and defies any sort of logic.
      What little culture NZ once had is now pretty much gone. We are now rudderless as a nation. Most people living in NZ now would not be able to define what a Kiwi is any more. I dont even think they care.
      We have a soulless blank canvas as a Prime Minister who has been relentlessly marketed as if he is the second coming of Christ and people have bought the bullshit!!

  12. Lowering the voting age to 16 will hardly win much support in this present social climate we have in New Zealand. We actually have an increasing number of people and politicians consider raising the drinking age to 20 again, as they view the damage done by alcohol to be linked to lowering the age for this many years ago.

    We have also a government that is sadly enjoying some solid support, by the blinkered near half of the voting population, who do not care about their civil rights, it seems, and prefer to have a “popular” and “strong” leader. While the Nats rallied in 2008 against “nanny state”, they have actually brought in “Big Brother” state, or an almost Orwellian kind of society, where mass surveillance is simply accepted as a “necessity” to safe-guard against alleged “terrorists” under the bed.

    Indeed, I am also gobsmacked about the election result, and how the MSM soon swept “Dirty Politics” aside, and in many cases blatantly helped Key back into office. While licking its wounds, Labour now seems to suffer from the Stockholm syndrome, falling into line with what they perceive as the “people’s will”.

    According to Andrew Little we now will see Labour embrace private contractors and small and medium business owners as “workers” on the same level as those working for humble wages, in many cases in “wage slavery”. Crosby Textor and the funders of the Nat’s campaign, same as the owners of the MSM have won the election, nobody else.

    So fasten your seat-belts all, I suggest, the ride will not get easier, tough measures will be dished out, especially as new “welfare reforms” are already in the making, yes, as part of the rewriting of the Social Security Act! You better believe it.

    But as most do not identify themselves with beneficiaries, and do all to not end there themselves, there will again be little interest or even sympathy, I fear.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1405/S00528/social-security-act-set-for-rewrite.htm

  13. World wide – the 99% are beginning to realise they are being severely ripped off. I hope the wave grows quickly.

  14. Well put Martyn, It is shocking and shameful the way 50% of the voting public are so hypnotized by never never land economics and a cocky ‘I’m all right Jack’ mindset. For them to allow kids to go to school hungry and not care about the 30% of the population caught in the spiral of poverty is highlighting a social meltdown which will get ugly. Is this the road we want to go down ……….. If decent caring people get organized and Labour stops the maggots chewing out the heart of the party and return to power to the people policy whilst building strong links with the Greens – We can put this back on track.
    It would also help if the Maori Party wake up and decide to not settle for crumbs from Mr keys table – they are better than that. Roll on 2015, Time to build for a much better future for Everyone.

  15. Re the hope in the youth to change voting behaviour and create a better future, we can only hope that the narcissistic daydreaming and chattering on social media will turn out to be a passing fad, become a bubble that bursts. Sadly I see little “collective” and “social” thinking and action, and rather more self focused aspirations and opportunism.

    Once the economic lie bubble bursts though, when the present fake economic “security” will prove to be nothing but a well constructed mirage, then there will be sudden mass hysteria, panic and a potentially explosive reaction, that New Zealand, like many other countries have not seen yet.

    This holiday I watch in disbelief, how thousands rush out and about in their loved fossil fuel powered cars, to take advantage of “cheap” petrol, and trip around the countryside. Only a few weeks ago we got the sternest warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, about irreversible threats to human kind, but no, the ostriches have their heads stuck in the sand, and can only think of holiday, and much cheap driving about, with more exhausts pumped into the atmosphere.

    Thanks to Key and his Nats, global climate change has not been sufficiently registered within the population, so most carry on as usual, and as if there is no tomorrow to worry about.

    So much of economic activity still relies on fossil fuel and resources, also agriculture. The present “glut” on the oil market will not last, and the waking up will be shocking, for all. China is slowing in “growth”, the US has massive debt to pay off, so has much of Europe, and the rich are buying up properties in last, faraway refuges. That latter development is also partly behind the property developments hitting sky high prices here in Auckland. New Zealand is deemed a low risk area, for many in the world, so they are preparing for the last days of stability to turn into a massive crisis, by packing their bags and move here.

    Key and his government interpret this as “economic success”. Yes, offering the better off middle and upper class new migrants a refuge is truly an “economic success story”, I presume. But it does not say much good about the capitalist laissez faire, ruthless economics that have been preached for too long, the root evil of so much.

    I suppose the new year will bring more stories about the “dairy success story” in NZ Aotearoa, or more logs for China, and what else there is. Yes there may still be some spare fish to catch and export, to can overseas and re-import, to be labeled here, as “caught in NZ waters”.

  16. The support of National is comparable to the support of Hilter. He said all the right things in a time of economic turmoil as well. Tough luck if some perish was the attitude of many of the people, as long as the said person was housed, clothed and fed. It was only in retrospect many of the people saw the monster. New Zealanders will as well, when they are living in a 1984 scenario nightmare and they scratch heads and wonder how the hell that happened.

  17. “and feeding the poorest kids at the poorest schools breakfast and lunch…” Who’s going to feed them during the school holidays?

  18. surely the whole idea of the internet part of internet-mana was to use the new forms of social media to by pass the MSM. Young people don’t watch TV or read the Herald to get their news nor for the most part do the poor or disadvantaged or marginalised. You can’t blame a conspiracy for the down fall of I-M you just plain didn’t get your message through. Its not just Nats who don’t care about dirty politics or mass surveillance the young don’t give a shit about it either I-M didn’t have a strong enough message to get its potential supporters off their bums and into the polling booth. Don’t go blaming the hobbits and the muddlers for taking the time to tick the box

    A democratic people have elected
    King Log, King Stork, King Log, King Stork again

    Because I like a wide and silent pond
    I voted Log. That party was defeated

  19. A final thought on all of the above. Yes of course my opening statement was a gross over-generalisation. No doubt there are (some) National voters out there who are good caring people with a social conscience. (But Parties win elections on the basis of which particular sector of the electorate it is that they succeed in appealing to ON AVERAGE.)

    National has won three elections in a row by appealing to a group of voters who loyally endorse their policy of maintaining the status quo in economic and political direction. They have cunningly forseen that “presidential-style” elections fought on personality and on pretty much zero policy, apart from the maintenance of the status quo, are bound to win against a divided left. That is because the left want change, and in some cases want MASSIVE change, but disagree among themselves on how best to achieve it. And furthermore the left also clearly understand that rapid and radical change can be political suicide.

    Many of the well-educated young, (as well as the disenfranchised, the homeless, the poor, etc, etc) want to see not just a change in direction, they forsee the need for a huge change in direction, simultaneously and on many fronts.

    It has become apparent to many thinking people, the educated young included, that merely tinkering with small-scale change around the edges of Neoliberalism is not going to cut the mustard. What is needed is a completely different direction; and in a direction far-removed from the main planks of Neoliberalism. In my view, this is where Labour got it wrong. The did not promise a retreat from the main planks of Neoliberalism. The Greens offered a more pronounced move away from some of the central tenets of Neoliberalism, but, particularly to the young, it still looked like tinkering around the edges.

    Unlike so many of their their parents, the young, especially the well-educated and the thinking young, really do “GET” global climate change. They have fewer vested interests in the maintenance of the status quo, and they believe the increasingly abundant and sometimes dramatic warning signs that they see all about them.

    They “get” globalisation and how it serves to concentrate the wealth of nations in the hands of a few offshore, mainly United States-based moguls. They “get” the message on how privatisation and the commodifying of just about everything from water to education damages the future aims and aspirations the majority of the people while benefitting a select few.

    Neoliberalism has backed the world into a corner. The young can clearly see that there is not going to be an easy way out. And they don’t see any of the mainstream parties offering a real or a sufficiently urgent solution. In their view voting is pretty much a waste of time because at the end of the day it really isn’t going to change any of the things that matter.

    THIS is what the left will have to address if it is going to win next time around.

    • Ok, Murray, but by referring to “the thinking young” and “educated young”, you may be right in one sense, but at the same time present one very great dilemma there is.

      The younger generation is not quite so cohesive and united as earlier generations may have been, they tend to be more individualistically minded. Also there are now more pronounced class differences again, showing in the fact that there may be “educated” and “thinking” young, and those that for whatever reasons did not make it there.

      We cannot only rely on “the thinking” and “educated”, as more people and their minds need to be reached and convinced, yes activated.

      So the progressives, “left” or whatever you call the more politically and socially enlightened and caring, need to review tactics and strategies. It seems that overseas, especially in developing nations, one successful strategy has been to build active, involving and interacting networks, all over the place, based on common ideas and goals. Support networks must go hand in hand with political movements, and that is how to gain minds and hearts.

      Look at what Chavez did in Venezuela, and what also the perhaps less inspiring organisations in places like Gaza (Hamas) have achieved, through networking and offering hands on basic services.

      Just going on social media, singing F*** JK in front of a crowd, and printing leaflets a few weeks or months ahead of an election does these days not convince many young nor old.

      So ALL parties on the left of centre need to start working right after the holidays, that is where the campaign 2017 has to start!

      Do not just talk and chat to young people, engage them, organise them, sign them up, and give them an active role, and also offer them support they want and need in every day issues and larger ones.

  20. “‘No one cares about that stuff”, but I bet they took a real interest in the smear campaigns nevertheless.

    The difficulty with Hagers book was he was forced to do an “all or nothing” expose. What ideally would have worked was to leak one item from that material per week or month as National do with their smear campaigns, headline – sound bite material. This would have been easier for the public to take in which would have had an accumulative corrosive effect. But all that information was too much to compute especially as it shattered the well cultivated rockstar myth of John Key and his government and he looked like a victim. Almost Stockholm syndrome in its effect.

    But it leaves a lingering unanswered question, what else is a PM who runs dirty misleading black ops campaigns from his office capable of?

  21. The youth (thinking and otherwise) have always been disenfranchised by the powers that be. The ‘government’ (in its entirety) have rarely if ever taken them seriously. The Internet Party was only the latest attempt to interest young voters.

    “We can give you this, this and this if you put your future in our hands.” they said.

    “We do want those things but most of us can barely afford to pay for those things let alone find a place to live that isn’t a box in the park or a hollowed out tree or a job to feed ourselves.” the youth reply (in muted tones because no one ever seems to hear them when it counts).

    “But everyone has those problems.” I hear you say and thus my point is made. Many of them will go to university and within a year amass so much debt they won’t be able to pay it off within the foreseeable future. Others will have children and will need to provide for their budding families. Of course getting a job isn’t quite so easy, not when you have a criminal record for some stupid mistake you made when you were 16.

    The ‘internet’ is a gateway to the world, there are very few above the age of sixteen who can say they aren’t acquainted with someone half the world away. It is not just the government but our country as a whole, they have nothing invested in New Zealand and NZ invests very little in them except the time and work it takes to train them to be cogs in the machine.

    Most people only value the young in word alone is it so mystifying that the majority vie for apathy?

    Or I could be wrong.

  22. “The PMs Office initiated and co-ordinated the falsification of SIS information to smear the Leader of the Opposition months before an election. As a National voter I had to holiday with recently told me, ‘No one cares about that stuff’, and that’s the horrific truth.”

    Perhaps the greatest success of the New Right is changing the psyche of many/most New Zealanders from being Citizens to Consumers.

    If you’re a Citizen, you care deeply about how our State operates and society works.

    If you’re a Consumer, shopping is your #1 recreational activity.

    It’s not coincidence that the devolution of the Citizen to Consumer took place around the time that retail laws were “reformed” in the late 1980s. Shopping went from a necessary activity, done at lunch times or designated Late Nights – to a 7 days a week pursuit.

    “Shop till we drop” is no longer a joke phrase – it is now A Way Of Life.

    And if this clown has his way, even one of the last few retail-free days will soon be a thing of the past: http://www.3news.co.nz/business/retailers-revisit-christmas-day-trading-laws-2014122418

    At the same time, our television broadcasters have replaced serious current affairs shows – or slotted them into early morning, unpopular Sunday slots, when most folk are having a sleep-in, or dealing with the kids. Instead of programmes like “Assignment” or “Gallery” at prime time, we now have “The Block” , “Master Chef” , and other so-called “reality shows”.

    “Native Affairs” is one exception, and that appears to be under attack, if certain reports are correct.

    Citizen to Consumer.

    The result are lower voter turn-outs and, as ‘Bomber’s’ National Party associate pointed out, a lowering of the Care Factor.

    Interesting point to consider… The economy has been de-regulated immensely since 1984, making consumerism far easier.

    Yet, state powers for the Police, GCSB, SIS, et al, have increased vastly, to a point now where surveillance without a warrant is now socially acceptable. This makes the role of the Citizen harder, as there is now the lurking fear that information about any of us being mis-used, as Bennett did with two solo-mums in 2009, and Slater has been doing recently.

    At every point, New Right agendas have focused on one subtle agenda; to turn us from caring, active Citizens – to distracted, inactive Consumers.

    In this respect, they have been remarkably successful.

    The New Right will claim victory (quietly) when our voting turnout is that of the United States – around 50%.

    The US, as we know, is the Land of Consumerism.

    • Thank you Frank, for your summary, which has I think has exposed a particular growing evil, designed to remove and replace our social human status, into that of compliant, exploitable commodities! Compliance gives the authorities more power, by disenfranchising the right of “citizenry”!

      After almost seventy years on this earth, I consider myself to be a “citizen” and will always be so, because I have a strong sense of social justice (thanks to my staunchly socialist grandmother). I deeply care for the wellbeing of my adopted country, the people and all that goes with it and will continue to do so, while I’m able to draw breath!

      Long may the “citizenry” factor prevail in NZ, even if it means challenging and forcibly confronting the powers that be, to be able to retain our freedom to be citizens!

        • Enjoyed that Frank. Great compilation of factors influencing the reality of the situation in NZ. Of course our ‘status’ as part of the 5 Eyes elite means that we are ‘Americanised’ and if we decide as a country to turn against our status we’d better watch out. Can’t see a change in how things are done here anytime soon. Democracy? Riiight… Just as long as we do as we’re told.

  23. Sorry Martyn. Been following the geopolitical ruptions lately? Also US economy contrary to published data is about to do something interesting (interesting not in a good way). 2015/2016 Hope people are prepared.

  24. Martyn,

    My dear Chap.

    You have been having trouble coming to terms with today’s Reality.

    “NZers respect Confidence…BUT NOT intelligence”

    How right you are. Tragic, but TRUE.

    * * * *
    CONFIDENCE, you see is easily BOUGHT these days. .A trick of the Mind.
    (here’s why..)—

    Today–
    People NO time /ability to engage their critical faculties. (eg our man Gosman)

    -Thus their confidence can EASILY be bought- – By effective marketing = Sales techniques to PERSUADE them!
    (plus of course helped by an already bought MEDIA )

    * * * *
    Then you ALSO have to consider the reality today, that intelligence and independent thinking has been DECLINING, for some decades

    -due to

    1) Deliberate intervention/interference in NZ Schooling, by OUTSIDE
    introduction/acceptance of destructive policies..

    a) – turning Schools into Businesses, (since 1980’s – 1990s)
    a) Reducing literacy & maths learning & skills , by adversely changing the curriculum.

    This last was first noticed when Universities started complaining that new entrants were lacking the literary skills required to manage their courses.
    Since then, standards have been lowered to absorb and accommodate the deficient, whilst they themselves grew into the next generation…
    (How many of you older people notice how NZ Listener, for example has been dumbed down..?)

    To sum up,

    Martyn, you need to wake up to the HORRIBLE fact/reality that we NO LONGER live in a world that aims for human IDEALS,
    Our world has been CORRUPTED.

    Well, we TRUE BLOODED NZers – HAVE been corrupted/taken over..
    by someone or something…
    You can clearly tell (when you’ve been around long enough

    ALL the real life SUPPORTING Values that all original NZers always held dear,
    are NOW GONE..
    They faded out completely after 1980’s, when suddenly “economic restructuring” was brought in. (accompanied soon after by a DELIBERATE opening of a huge flood of immigrants..to dissolve the national unity & standards NZ had, until that point.

    By traitors to NZ..

    We were sold out. We are tenants in own country.

    HOW the HELL did you expect different results in the Elections, Martyn?

    Did you REALLY expect all the dumbed down & distracted younger generations…(eg our Gosman )
    (not to mention thousands of recent years 3rd world immigrants ) to

    REALLY Understand/ Aspire to the same standards/ VALUES all ORIGINAL NZers once cherished and believed in?

    Especially.. given the ENORMOUS mental takeover (peoples minds)
    – by floods of superficial outside distractions (bombardment of trivia & fakenessness by the commerce world. (which includes all the FAKE “News” presentations), all Social Media , all the endless dumb Hollywood films etc etc etc etc…..

    Just SOMETHING(S) to reflect on..

    AND, BTW, HOW many people have time/be bothered to even reflect AT ALL

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